Americans want things in tidy little packages so that we can quickly sort them into some order and declare winners and losers.  Which is why I often want to scream when educators talks about “data.”  As if nothing matters unless it can be measured and quantified and sorted.

So we decide that schools are “failing” based on the outcomes of a few tests, ignoring that learning is also about socialization, about children becoming adults, about relationships that last a lifetime, etc.

Such thinking ignores reality and discounts the impact teachers often have on their students that can not be quantified.  For instance, an educator friend befriended twin sisters who showed up at the school where she was principal on the first day of kindergarten years ago.  They are now both in college and my friend is still there for them.  Without her, theirs would be a far different story than it is.

But you cannot measure this so critical part of the education experience.

Just as you cannot put numbers on the experiences this story relates about a young girl in Dallas whose life was changed by a teacher long, long ago.

After all, children are not just a pile of data points to be sorted and shuffled and restacked and twisted and counted at the whim of another bureaucrat or philanthropist.